TO VOTE OR NOT TO VOTE! THAT IS THE QUESTION.
I thank Theresa May, the current British Prime Minister and protector of all things British, for bringing this opportunity to me. She has declared June 6 as the day Brits will go to the polls to endorse her as PM.
As a British citizen residing in Sri Lanka, I have the legal right to vote (albeit through a postal vote), yet I ask myself, “Is it worth the time and effort?”I think of those who have fought, and in some cases died, to have the right to vote so why am I sitting on my ‘tod’ playing mental ping- pong with my thoughts?
I am a proud, patriotic Brit, a staunch defender of the British political system, and of the right of each man and woman to cast their vote. Voting in the United Kingdom is optional. I hear that if you are an Australian living abroad it’s mandatory you vote in any Australian country wide election. In the United Kingdom, it turns out this is a declining trend with many citizens developing an attitude of “what will my vote really achieve?” But if I do not vote, I have no right to be critical of any policies implemented by the new Government.
I do not want my vote to be an uninformed. This means I need to analyse the party politics of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties. Reading train timetables might be more exciting.
I head off to a café, iPad in hand, and start reading. May says, she called an election to get endorsement to lead Britain in its divorce from the European Union (EU). She also believes in a reversal of the Robin Hoods strategy, that is, to take from the poor and give to the rich, will it be good for the future of Britain, Unlikely! Left winger, Jeremy Corbyn is the front man for the Labour Party. His rhetoric appears to be more of protest than a policy. While Tim Farron leads the Liberal Democrats to I know not where.
After numerous coffees and much reading I am still pondering. I know I will never live in the UK again, I don’t have many pounds, so whatever happens financially there is little to no impact for me and I won’t be unduly disadvantaged, since and I have no UK pension. All sounds very selfish but isn’t all voting driven by some form of self-interest? Can U.K grow outside the EU, I suspect not?
The polls indicate May and her Conservative team will be re-elected, but in shocking horror Corbyn is closing in. May might want to take a quick look over her shoulder to check whether the stampeding masses that elevated Trump to Mr President, are in process of gunning for her.
So if you are a Brit, are you going to vote or have you voted? Have you voted for those who you can support because of their manifesto or is your vote a protest against those whom you can’t support.
Arriving home, my wife asks me if I am to register my vote. Shit. I will not be voting. Why, you may well ask. Simple. I’ve missed the registration deadline! Such is life!